Friday Finds

OK, I have to admit it. I have another unrelated obituary in my file. This time, it is for Jess Wells who was killed during World War I from the Iola Daily Register. I do have a Jesse Wells in my tree who lived in Woodson County, Kansas and served during World War I. However, the Jesse Wells in my tree did not die in 1918. Thus, this obituary is for a different Jesse Wells.

Deaths and Funerals
The body of Jess Wells, who died in overseas service, arrived in Colony Saturday night and was brought to Iola by Adams and Hesser where funeral arrangements were made. Wells was a Geneva boy, so members of the Leslie J. Campbell Post No. 15, American Legion, accompanied the body to Geneva
today to perform the military portion of the funeral service. Captain Hill of the Salvation Army, overseas veteran, made the funeral address and interment was made in the Geneva cemetery.

The Iola Daily Register (Iola, Kansas) Tuesday evening, May 31, 1921, page 5 col. 5

I obtained the above obituary by reading microfilm at the Kansas State Historical Society. At the time, I simply transcribed the information and did not obtain a copy. Thanks to the digitization projects in Kansas, many of the Iola newspapers are on Thus, I was able to locate this particular paper to get an image of the notice.

In addition, I located a notice in the 27 May 1921 issue of The Iola Register regarding the return on the body of Jess Wells to Kansas

Miss Blanche Ponsler, secretary for the Allen County red Cross has notice that the body of Jess Wells, who died in France in 1917, will arrive in Geneva soon for burial. A brother, Chas. Wells, resides in Geneva, and the father lives in Henrietta, Okla. Glen Bean, Legion Post Commander, will take proper action for arranging the services when the body arrives.

The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas) 27 May 1921, page 3, available on

Since the earlier notice indicated that Jess Wells died in 1917, I tried to locate a notice of his death. When I couldn’t find a 1917 notice, I decided to check Find a Grave to see what it had for the death date. On Find a Grave, I found Jess Wells died in 1918. The memorial includes a transcription of a death notice from the 21 Nov 1918 issue of the Iola Register.

Mrs. Frank Mabie received the news of the death of her brother, Jess Wells last week. He was killed in action –another soldier laid down his life for his country. Jess used to reside in this community. We extend our sympathy to his parents and sisters and brothers in their loss.

Iola Register
Nov. 21 1918

I was able to locate this death notice on

Curious as to whether this Jess Wells was related to my WELLS research in the area of Woodson and Allen counties, I located him on FamilySearch.

Unfortunately, his tree shows no connection to my WELLS line. Thus, another unrelated obituary in my files.